Shimano is the biggest bicycle component manufacturer in the world. The Japanese company makes products for road, mountain, trekking and leisure bikes meaning they have a product suitable for almost any kind of bike.
The product list is huge but each is created to suit a certain style of riding and grouped into a range or groupset with matching gears, brakes, transmission and wheels.
Components include: bottom bracket; brake callipers, brake discs, brake levers; cables; cassette; chain; chainset (cranks & chainrings); gear levers (or ‘STI’ combined gear and brake levers); gear mechanisms – often referred to as mechs or derailleurs - for front & rear; pedals and wheels.
Groupsets are categorised into by name with all new innovation coming in at the top then trickling down several layers in following years. Todays mid price groupsets have features which were only available to professional riders several years ago. The latest innovation from Shimano is electronic shifting for road bikes; this was introduced into the top groupset Dura Ace but is now available in Ultegra for a much more reasonable price with a slight weight gain being the only penalty.
Groupsets are categorised by discipline and hierarchy as follows -
|Downhill / Freeride||
Shimano are now also established footwear manufacturers making many different road, mountain, trail, commuting and BMX shoes. They also produce a growing range of tools which are made to their usual standards of excellence in every product.